It’s a surprise that nobody expected! Prince Edward was to inaugurate the Elizabeth RER line at Paddington station this May 17, 2022. The Earl of Wessex arrived at the London station accompanied by Her Majesty in person. Queen Elizabeth II had not been seen in public in the capital since late March.
The Elizabeth Line inaugurated by the Queen at Paddington Station
Queen Elizabeth II rarely makes public appearances anymore. At 96, the monarch has decided to live and work at Windsor Castle, leaving Buckingham Palace behind. Elizabeth II made every effort to attend the mass in memory of her late husband on March 29 at Westminster Abbey. Since then, she had not set foot in London.
From now on, the Palace prefers to confirm the Queen’s arrival on the day of each event. Her Majesty has mobility problems and some pain can prevent her from moving, until the last minute. A week ago, she cancelled for the first time in 59 years, her visit to Westminster where she was expected to read her speech from the throne at the opening of the parliamentary year. For the first time, thanks to the Regency Act, the Queen has bequeathed certain royal functions to her eldest son, the Prince of Wales.
The surprise arrival of Queen Elizabeth II in canary yellow at Paddington
This Tuesday, May 17, it was announced that Prince Edward, the last son of the Queen, would inaugurate the new line of RER. This line, called Crossrail, will now be called the Elizabeth Line. It crosses London from west to east, through a new tunnel, and goes beyond the capital as it reaches the town of Reading in the west and Shenfield in the east.
Queen Elizabeth II arrived at Paddington Station in a canary yellow outfit by Stewart Parvin. She used a cane to get around and wore a yellow and blue hat by Rachel Travor-Morgan. The Queen’s arrival was so unexpected that an hour and a quarter before the event, a commemorative plaque was already installed, commemorating the opening of the line by Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. The plaque was then removed and a new one, mentioning that Queen Elizabeth II was present at the inauguration, was put in its place.
On the spot, before unveiling the plaque, an agent taught her how to use the ticket vending machine. She then approached the plaque, hidden under purple curtains, the color associated with this line.
This new line will be accessible to the public from May 24. This £19 billion (about €22.5 billion) project was already scheduled to be completed in 2018. After several delays, the construction was definitely disrupted by the health crisis. The construction site was halted for several months.